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kyle cassidy

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What we talk about when we talk about pockets [Apr. 29th, 2013|08:33 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |judas priest: hell bent for leather]

This post is about pockets, feminism, design, autonomy and common sense. Please feel free to repost or link to it if you know people who'd benefit from the discussion.

A few weeks ago trillian_stars and I were out somewhere and she asked "Oooh, can I get a cup of coffee?" and I thought "why are you asking me? You don't need permission." But what I discovered was that her clothes had no pockets, so she had no money with her.

Mens clothes have pockets. My swimsuits have pockets. All of them do, and it's not unusual, because, what if you're swimming in the ocean and you find a fist full of pirate booty in the surf? You need somewhere to put it. Men are used to carrying stuff in their pockets, you put money there, you put car keys there. With money and car keys come power and independence. You can buy stuff, you can leave. The idea of some women's clothes not having pockets is baffling, but it's worse than that -- it's patriarchal because it makes the assumption that women will either carry a handbag, or they'll rely on men around them for money and keys and such things. (I noticed this also when Neil & Amanda were figuring out where her stuff had to go because she had no pockets.) Where do women carry tampons? Amanda wondered, In their boyfriend's pockets, Neil concluded.)

I then noticed that none of trillian_stars' running clothes had pockets. Any pockets. Which is (as they always say on "Parking Wars") ridikulus. Who leaves the house with nothing? (It's not a rhetorical question, I actually can't think of anybody).

We fixed some of this by getting this runners wrist wallet from Poutfits on Etsy -- it holds money, ID, keys ... the sort of stuff you'd need. Plus you can wipe your nose on it. It solves the running-wear problem, but not the bigger problem.

Clickenzee to Embiggen!

The bigger problem is that people who design women's fashions are still designing pants and jackets that have no pockets. In fact, this jacket we got last December has ... no pockets. It's not a question of lines or shape, it's a question of autonomy.

Clickenzee to Embiggen

So I'm asking my friends who design women's clothes to consider putting pockets in them, they can be small, they can be out of the way, they can be inside the garment, but space enough to put ID, and cash and bus tokens. And maybe a phone. (And if you can design a surreptitious tampon stash, I'm sure Neil & Amanda & a lot of other people would appreciate it as well.)

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[User Picture]From: Gina Mai Denn
2013-04-30 08:43 pm (UTC)

Thoughts reading this post

I'm so with you on this. I often pass up items that I could really use but for the lack of pockets, especially in sports clothes. I don't often buy clothes, and when I do it's usually from a thrift store. . Last time I went I brought home a big haul. I bought a few pairs of Capris with pockets, but they are too small for phones. I also bought a lot of pretty skirts. None had pockets, to my chagrin. My solution was to buy a few pretty wrist-lettes. Not ideal, but handy enough.

In case you tampon carriers don't know about menstrual cups (like the keeper), I can highly recommend one. Lasts for YEARS and makes it so easy.
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[User Picture]From: bugshaw
2013-04-30 09:59 pm (UTC)
I used to wear a men's tail coat - tail pockets capacious enough for two bottles of champagne without spoiling the line :-)
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[User Picture]From: onyxlynx.blogspot.nl
2013-04-30 11:41 pm (UTC)
I refuse to buy clothes that don't have pockets, and it drives my mother wild.

I do sew (I'm a sufficiently odd size that custom fits better) and I have to add inches to the pocket pattern piece because as sewn they'd be too small for a wallet. I don't give a hang about the garment's drape. I will install pockets if necessary.
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[User Picture]From: livejournal
2013-04-30 11:54 pm (UTC)

What we talk about when we talk about pockets

User franklanguage referenced to your post from What we talk about when we talk about pockets saying: [...] nally posted by at What we talk about when we talk about pockets [...]
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[User Picture]From: livejournal
2013-05-01 01:06 am (UTC)

What we talk about when we talk about pockets

User game_byrd referenced to your post from What we talk about when we talk about pockets saying: [...] pockets, please comment here. Originally posted by at What we talk about when we talk about pockets [...]
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2013-05-01 01:22 am (UTC)
This is a great post.

A couple of years ago I made a new year's resolution not to buy any more trousers without pockets. It has reduced my choices significantly when shopping, but it means that most days I have somewhere to put my keys and my phone.

I hoped that with the increasing assumption that we call carry our phones with us at all times, designers would make more clothes with phone suitable pockets. But instead there are more phone sized purses and clutches. Which makes sense from a capitalist point of view: why sell one item when you could sell two.
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[User Picture]From: livejournal
2013-05-01 01:34 am (UTC)

What we talk about when we talk about pockets

User means2bhuman referenced to your post from What we talk about when we talk about pockets saying: [...] pockets, please comment here. Originally posted by at What we talk about when we talk about pockets [...]
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[User Picture]From: kcaspari
2013-05-01 04:00 am (UTC)


I have bought skirts and dresses I wouldn't have otherwise because they had pockets that could be used. I've recently begun learning to sew simply so that I can make clothes I like without all the searching - and that means, among other things, clothes with pockets! There are several places you can hide pockets so that the stuff in them doesn't ruin the lines of the garment - unless you decide to put everything you own in them...which I often do...still, better than always being weighed down by a purse.

I've always loved that Audrey Hepburn's skirt in Roman Holiday had two pockets she could sink her hands right down into (the one I think of as the "ice cream skirt" because it's the one she wears in the scene she buys a cone).
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[User Picture]From: ashbet
2013-05-01 06:44 am (UTC)
I really miss Illig (Goth/Industrial label which inexplicably disappeared or went to Japan, apparently), because I used to buy their ankle-length cargo skirts and wear them ALL THE TIME -- not only were they cute (I had an olive-green one, a couple of black ones, and a couple with a bunch of raver-y straps), but they had FOUR WORKING POCKETS AT A MINIMUM.

Sadly, I sized out of the line a while ago (serious illness will do that to you sometimes), and I haven't seen them available in the US in ages . . . but oh, I loved them while they were around!

(Have now trawled through my old photos, making annoyed noises, because there's a chunk of unaccounted-for time where stuff that was hosted on my old site is missing and not easily-accessible on my current computer -- suffice it to say that it was during the Big Pants era, and while I never completely succumbed to the wide-legged raver-trousers thing, I DID think that this was something perfectly reasonable to wear for a trip to the museum. Thing is, I was wearing a rubber spikey backpack bought from the shop of my delightful now-girlfriend-of-many-years, and that backpack held up through a good seven years of heavy use before mostly giving up the ghost -- I still own it, for nostalgia's sake. It was impractical-LOOKING, but much more comfortable than a purse!

-- A <3
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[User Picture]From: naath
2013-05-01 11:37 am (UTC)
Some (not all) of my running gear has arse pockets - just the right size for the house keys; very useful. When running though I do sometimes leave the house with *nothing* but my clothes, shoes, and watch; I rely on my OH to not go anywhere and be available to let me in. Shear laziness on my part of course (I'd have to get the right key off my humungous keychain in order to carry it sensibly whilst running).

The rest of the time I carry a bag; and most of the time I have way more stuff than would fit in any sensible pockets (gym kit! lunch!) (and a jacket with decent pockets), but just *sometimes* I'd like to be able to put some money and my keys in a pocket and not have to take a damn bag. Especially if I'm going somewhere *nice*... and alas it's "nice" clothes that are least likely to have anything resembling a pocket.
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[User Picture]From: maladroital
2013-05-01 01:02 pm (UTC)
Two of my friends are trying to recruit me for a STL Zombie Run in June, so I told them I would start training and sign up by the end of May if I feel like I can do it. I downloaded the Zombie 5K app, and within 10 minutes of the first work out I realized I needed pockets. So many pockets, and knew immediately I'd have to start in the men's section first.

And then I read this yesterday after my walk/run and the giant AHA was really, really big.

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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-05-01 04:32 pm (UTC)
You will need a lot of pockets. Every 3 minutes zombies run is like "picked up a pair of underwear" and i'm thinking "where am i carrying all this stuff?"
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[User Picture]From: livejournal
2013-05-01 01:15 pm (UTC)

Interesting Links for 01-05-2013

User andrewducker referenced to your post from Interesting Links for 01-05-2013 saying: [...] ) Women's clothes should have pockets [...]
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[User Picture]From: livejournal
2013-05-01 02:07 pm (UTC)

What we talk about when we talk about pockets

User laplor referenced to your post from What we talk about when we talk about pockets saying: [...] to buy things with pockets. Originally posted by at What we talk about when we talk about pockets [...]
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[User Picture]From: azurelunatic
2013-05-01 04:13 pm (UTC)
This is why the anti-chafing bloomers I wear under my skirts are pocketed, marketed-to-men, unisex shorts.
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[User Picture]From: sheilagh
2013-05-03 01:17 am (UTC)
what brand(s), please?
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[User Picture]From: howlokitty
2013-05-01 04:56 pm (UTC)
I ended up writing my own poem about pockets:

When I first started carrying a purse,
my mother made the joke
that the only thing I carried inside
was my wallet.
Before then,
I only wore jeans,
and I had no problem
stuffing my wallet
in my back pocket.

Now I wear dresses
that don’t have back pockets
or usually any pocket at all.
What do women have to carry
that warrants a pocket
when purses abound
and a good woman always has a man at her side?

When I do find a dress,
or a skirt,
or a pair of sensible, professional pants to wear
that does have a good, deep, pocket,
I rejoice
and make plans on what to carry
until being reminded
that stuffing a wallet in my pocket
ruins the lines of the garments
I wear.
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